The third Building Ministers’ Forum (BMF) for 2017 held in Brisbane on Friday, 6 October 2017, continued to drive decisive action on potentially hazardous aluminium cladding and other efforts to improve the compliance and safety of Australian buildings.
BMF Ministers recognise the public safety concern and clear risk arising around the use of cladding that does not comply with the National Construction Code (NCC). All Ministers agreed that they will use their available laws and powers to prevent the use of aluminium composite cladding with a polyethylene (PE) core for class 2, 3, or 9 buildings of two or more storeys, and class 5, 6, 7 or 8 of three or more storeys, until such time as they are satisfied that manufacturers, importers, and installers, working in collaboration with building practitioners, will reliably comply with:
- the newly established standard setting test against which fire retardant cladding products are deemed to be reasonable for use in high rise settings; and
- an established and implemented system of permanent labelling on cladding products to prevent substitution.
For its part, the Commonwealth will regularly provide the states and territories with import data on aluminium composite cladding and other building products. This will help reduce the information barriers and support states and territories to track movements of cladding and ensure these products are used in ways that comply with the NCC.
The BMF has tasked the Senior Officers’ Group, in consultation with industry and regulators, to provide further advice in respect of other materials.
In addition, the BMF agreed to address inappropriate advertising and labelling of PE aluminium composite cladding utilising available laws and powers, and to ask the Consumer Affairs Forum to create a national information standard for these products.